Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
April 02, 2020
2 min read

Chronic exercise training increases fatty acid, ketone consumption in men

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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The extent and magnitude of metabolic adaptation to chronic exercise training in men were greater than originally believed, likely due to increased consumption of ketone body substrates and fatty acid, researchers reported in Cardiovascular Research.

“These results show that metabolic adaptation to exercise is far more profound than previously reported,” John O’Sullivan, MD, clinical-academic cardiologist at the University of Sydney and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, said in a press release. “The results increase our knowledge of the widespread benefits of exercise on metabolism and reveal for the first time the true magnitude of these effects. This reinforces the mandate for exercise as a critical part of programs to prevent cardiovascular disease.”

Yen Chin Koay, PhD, postdoctoral scientist at the Heart Research Institute in Sydney, and colleagues analyzed data from 52 men (mean age, 22 years; mean baseline BMI, 24 kg/m2) who were enlisted soldiers in 2015. The men participated in a moderate-intensity mixed aerobic and strength exercise program for 80 days. Morning fasting blood samples were taken before and after participation in the exercise program. Other measures were assessed including body fat content, anthropomorphic measurements, lipoprotein subclass, lipoproteins, plasma lipids and apolipoproteins, in addition to 201 metabolites.

There was a reduction in BMI from baseline to completion of the program (24.04 kg/m2 to 23.54 kg/m2; P = .02).

In response to increased aerobic fitness, researchers observed dramatic decreases in ketone body substrates and fatty acids in plasma. Highly significant changes also occurred in several classes of metabolic substrates including ketone bodies, lipids, endocannabinoids, arginine metabolites, markers of proteolysis, nucleotides, microbiome-derived metabolites, products of fatty acid oxidation, coagulation substrates and markers of redox stress.

Dimethylguanidino valeric acid, a metabolite that has recently been shown to predict a lack of metabolic response to exercise, was able to track maladaptive changes to exercise. Men with increases in dimethylguanidino valeric acid also had increases in total cholesterol (P = .003), LDL cholesterol (P = .007) and body fat (P = .049).

“Exercise is a key tenant of cardiovascular prevention programs as recommended by all national cardiovascular bodies around the world,” O’Sullivan told Healio. “It is imperative that we understand the true magnitude of metabolic benefits (lipids, blood pressure, body fat, glucose homeostatic, insulin sensitivity) and range of other potential effects so that we can make recommendations based on the most accurate information.” – by Darlene Dobkowski

For more information:

John O’Sullivan, MD, can be reached at john.osullivan@sydney.edu.au.

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.